Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dog Days of Summer Reading List

August will be upon us soon, those last few beautiful weeks of summer before the autumn season creeps around. So I though I'd put together a speculative fiction reading list to get the most out of the last lazy days of summer. It's a mix of books I've read, am reading, or I want to read, and I call it...

My Dog Days of Summer Reading List

Lumière (The Illumination Paradox #1) by Jacqueline Garlick
(genre: YA steampunk)

Terra Mechanica: a Steampunk Anthology by various authors
(genre: steampunk)

Shanghai Steam by various authors
(genre: steampunk)

Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs Trilogy #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn
(genre: steampunk)

Tomorrow Wendell by R.M. Ridley
(genre: urban fantasy)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
(genre: fantasy)

Song of the Ice Lord by J.A. Clement
 (genre: fantasy)

Jane by Robin Maxwell
(genre: sci-fi/fantasy)

The Crown (Joanna Stafford #1) by Nancy Bilyeau
(genre: historical fiction)

You are also welcome to check out any of my books for your summer reading.
You can find them at:

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

For Canada Day: Tomorrow Wendell

Happy Canada Day!

And, in honour of Canada Day, I present the very talented Canadian author, R. M. Ridley and his hot-off-the-presses urban fantasy novel, Tomorrow Wendell. Definitely a book worth checking out...

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Tomorrow Wendell by R. M. Ridley, available June 28, 2014

Tomorrow Wendell by R. M. Ridley, available June 28, 2014
Check out Tomorrow Wendell on
Amazon - Goodreads

Tomorrow Wendell by R. M. Ridley, available June 28, 2014

Tomorrow Wendell by R. M. Ridley, available June 28, 2014

Follow Ridley on the web:
White Dragon Black: Google + | Twitter

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Book Spotlight: The Circuit: Executor Rising

Another book spotlight today, this time we're off to the future for the science fiction novel The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett Bruno...

The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett Bruno

It has been centuries since Earth was rendered a barren, volatile wasteland. With their homeworld left uninhabitable, humanity founded a system of colonies throughout their local solar system. Known as the Kepler Circuit, these settlements are strung together by a network of nonaligned Solar-Ark transports, locked in continuous motion. They have served to provide an influx of resources to every faction ruling over the remnants of humankind, most importantly the newly discovered element Gravitum which is found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.
By 500 K.C. a religious sect known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of The Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left remaining to challenge them, a string of attacks on their transports force them to summon the enigmatic, yet brilliant, Cassius Vale for help. What they don’t know is that together with his intelligent android creation, ADIM, he is the one orchestrating the raids.
His actions lead to the involvement of Sage Volus, a beautiful Tribunal Executor sent by her masters to spy on their mortal enemies – the Ceresian Pact. In order to find out who is behind the attacks, she infiltrates the ranks of a roguish mercenary named Talon Rayne. Against all her intentions, however, she finds her faith tested by him and his ragtag squad.
While Sage and Talon are engaged in a futile hunt, Cassius Vale initiates his strategy to bring down the narrow-minded Tribune once and for all. But will anyone be able to survive what he has in store for the Circuit?​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Circuit: Executor Rising is available at:


Author Bio:

Rhett Bruno grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture where he graduated cum laude.
He has been writing since he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic short stories when he was young to show to his parents. When he reached high school he decided to take that a step further and write the “Isinda Trilogy”. After the encouragement of his favorite English teacher he decided to self-publish the “Isinda Trilogy” so that the people closest to him could enjoy his early work.
While studying architecture Rhett continued to write as much as he could, but finding the time during the brutal curriculum proved difficult. It wasn't until he was a senior that he decided to finally pursue his passion for science fiction. After rededicating himself to reading works of the science fiction authors he always loved, (Frank Herbert, Timothy Zahn, Heinlein, etc.) he began writing “The Circuit: Executor Rising”, the first part of what he hopes will be a successful Adult Science Fiction Series.
Since then, Rhett has been hired by an architecture firm in Mount Kisco, NY. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work on “The Circuit” and all of the other stories bouncing around in his head. He is also currently studying at the New School to earn a Certificate in Screenwriting in the hopes of one day writing for TV or Video Games.

You can find out more about Rhett Bruno and his writing at his website,​, or on Twitter: @rcbruno44

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Book Spotlight: White Walker by Richard Schiver

I have a book spotlight for you today, from horror author Richard Shiver, as we hearken back to winter on this, the first day of summer...

White Walker by Richard Schiver

When she was ten she made a promise to that which inhabits the winter storm. Now she’s twenty-six and pregnant, and the White Walker has returned to collect his due.

For Teddy his first day as shift supervisor could not have come at a worst time. A severe blizzard has shut down the region as old man winter refuses to relinquish his grip. Only ten percent of his team has shown up for work, and he learns upon arriving that one of his first duties that day will be to fire his girlfriend.

He believes it can’t get any worse than it already is. That is until one of his people dies at the hands of a legendary creature that inhabits the blizzard. A prehistoric deity once worshiped by ancient man on the vast Siberian plains. Brought to these shores by Russian immigrants seeking a better life in the deep coalmines that once dotted the hills around the Appalachian Mountain town of Frostburg.

Cut off from the outside world, stalked by a creature from the past, the survivors are forced to abandon the safety of a building that has been stressed to the breaking point.

But how does one escape a winter storm?

White Walker is available from these retailers.

Want to try it before you buy? Check out the first ten chapters for free at:

Author Bio:

White Walker is Richard’s eighth release since his return to writing in 2008 after a computer crash wiped out nearly ten years of work in 2001. A lifelong reader of the Macabre and supernatural his desire is to leave the reader with a story that will stay with them long after they have closed the cover of the book.

Richard lives with his wife in Lavale, MD. Where they share their home with four furry, four legged, children. When he’s not spinning tales of terror he can be found tossing the ball for Max, or making a mess in his woodshop.

Richard can be found online at:

Twitter: @RichardSchiver

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Book Review: Birds of Passage

Well readers, it's time for another book review.
Some time ago I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the excellent first novel in The Raincoast Trilogy, the book Since Tomorrow by Morgan Nyberg. Now I bring you my review of the second book in the series, Birds of Passage...

A Book Review of Birds of Passage

Birds of Passage, the second book in The Raincoast Trilogy, is a darker, more sombre novel than the first; a harsher glimpse of a transitory journey through a decaying world. The book evokes a bittersweet melancholy, where the remnants of human civilization are more profoundly marked as a dying breed.

The book begins years after the events of the first, in a world that has devolved considerably. Frost’s Farm still exists, but the people there cling to faded hope as disease and death ravage their settlement. The characters of the first book, Noor, Daniel, Wing, have given way to the new generation, Cloud, 99, Fraser, and Fraser’s dad, Blaine. Birds of Passage is their story, full of sadness and tragedy. They have one hope, to go north and find a new place to settle, a new place for the farm.

The novel portrays its unforgiving world honestly, and convincingly, depicting a compelling vision of a ruined society struggling to endure and stay alive. It has some interesting things to say about human nature, both its savagery and nurturing aspects, and our survival instincts as a species. I may not have agreed with everything the author wove into the story, but it made for fascinating reading. The book focuses on action over reflection, external stimuli over internal, perhaps a bit too much for my liking, but still manages to weave an intriguing and captivating story. The pace slows and meanders in the middle of the book, when the characters find themselves embarking on a journey away from the farm, but not enough to be overly detrimental to the plot.

However, the book is not without its problems. I found the central characters in this book slightly less engaging than the first, perhaps due to the lack of an unifying character such as Frost in the original novel. The story is told as more of an ensemble piece, and while it does work, for me the depth of characterization was somewhat deficient at times. I found the character of Fraser especially frustrating, with the motivation for some of his actions incomplete. Without a more in-depth look at the bond between father and son, I found it hard to sympathize with Fraser’s loyalty to Blaine. This limitation is somewhat mitigated with flashback scenes near the end of the book, but it may have been a case of too little, too late.

I don’t think the book is quite as good as the first in the series, it is still a terrific novel, and one I recommend.

Birds of Passage is available at:

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